Crisis-hit The Weinstein Company announced late Sunday that they are planning to file for bankruptcy after talks to sell it collapsed.
The New York film and TV studio had been severely affected by the scandal that hit its ex-chairman Harvey Weinstein after more than 70 women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. The company had initially been seekig a deal that would spare it from bankruptcy.
The company’s board of directors said that The Weinstein Company has been
engaged in an active sale process in the hopes of preserving assets and jobs.
Apparently, sale talks fell through and the board said those discussions concluded “without a signed agreement.” Talks ended about two weeks ago when the New York attorney general’s office filed a civil rights lawsuit against the company.
The lawsuit against the company alleges that Weinstein sexually harassed and abused women employed by the studio for years. It also accuses Wesinstein of issuing verbal threats to kill staff members.
The lawsuit also accuses other senior executives at The Weinstein Company, including Weinstein’s brother Robert, of failing to prevent or stop the mistreatment of staff even after they were presented with evidence of the abuses.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking an unspecified amount to cover damages, plus penalties for the victims of the alleged abuse.
In the wake of the allegations, the board fired Weinstein. Weinstein is under investigation by both the U.S. and the U.K. police, but no criminal charges have been brought against him so far.
Weinstein has denied the accusations.
Some of the biggest U.S. box-office gross successes of The Weinstein Company include Dyango Unchained (2012) with earnings of $162.8 million; The King’s Speech (2010) which had $138.8 million; The Silver Linings Playbook (2012) with $132.1 million in reported earnings; Inglorious Basters (2009) with $120.5 million; and The Butler (2013) with $116.6 million.
The board also said they had “no choice but to pursue its only viable option to maximize the company’s website or Twitter feed.
Weinstein was once one of Hollywood’s most influetial men but fell from grace and power after the multiple sexual harassment and misconduct allegations hurled against him by more than 70 women. The allegations included rape.
The Weinstein scandal also sparked similar revelations and allegations of sexual misconduct against other industry movers and shakers, including directors, actors and media personalities. Weinstein’s alleged victims emboldened other women to also come forward with their stories and allegations, also sparking the #MeToo movement.
No immediate confirmation of the company’s plans to file for bankruptcy is available on their website or Twitter feed.